According to a new research from Certify, it has shown that Airbnb bookings in corporate travel might be changing the lodging and staying landscape in the future.
A look at 2016 travel and entertainment expense trends from Certify showed since 2014, the Airbnb transactions have doubled year-over-year. Uber rides now account for more than half of overall ground transportation transactions.
Certify CEO Robert Neveu said that the growing preference for sharing economy services like Uber and, to a lesser degree, Airbnb really underscores the trend toward consumerization of traditional corporate travel. He continued saying that the advances in personal technologies and travel-based smartphone apps have made it easier for business travellers to choose the experiences and vendors they prefer. Also, the companies they work for are following suit with expanded travel policy guidelines to accommodate new services and payment methods. More than a footnote in history, it’s the kind of transformational change that will continue to shape the industry for years to come.
In the fourth quarter of 2016 Uber was the most expensed company among Certify’s accounts which outranked business travel staples like Starbucks which consisted of six percent of the transactions.
Airbnb represents about one percent of the overall lodging bookings in business travel and the service saw an upswing which is expected to continue till 2017. According to the data shared by Certify, Airbnb’s transactions doubled year-over-year since 2014, with longer stays of 4.51 nights compared to 2.58 nights at traditional hotels. “While still under 1 percent of the total, Airbnb’s growth is significant in this context,” the report reads. this means, although in its small share in business travel, Airbnb is already approaching the level of less popular hotels.
As far as the ground transportation is concerned, Uber still dominates business travel. The good news for lagging competitors in this area is that since spending overall is increasing, they’re not being completely pushed out of the space.
China is home to 710 million internet users – 92.5% who go online via smartphones and mobile devices.1
That’s a massive population of 656.8 million mobile netizens in a single country1 – more than any other country in the world.
Additionally, with 91% of China’s ultra-rich going online every day – most who consider social media as their preferred source of information2 – social media is no doubt pivotal in securing success for your China market strategy.
However, while the China online market presents massive potential for international agents, China’s Great Firewall – and its convoluted social media landscape – remain both a mystery and a bane for many. After all, it’s hard to sell to Chinese buyers when your website and usual social media channels – such as Facebook and Twitter – are blocked and invisible to them.
That said, there are Chinese social media platforms that are arguably even more powerful with Chinese buyers than Facebook and Twitter. Here are three top Chinese social media apps to capitalise if you’re new to China’s social media landscape:
As China’s equivalent to Whatsapp, Tencent’s WeChat still reigns supreme as China’s #1 mobile chat app, boasting over 762 million monthly active users (MAUs) as of Q1 2016.3 Better known as ‘Weixin’ in China, WeChat provides innovative features – Official Accounts, WeChat Payment, Moments, Loyalty Card, etc – that are superb for consumer engagement and influencer marketing.
QQ is Tencent’s older instant messaging brainchild before the birth of WeChat. Best used for email marketing via its QQ Mail or for leveraging fan and follower networks with its social graph data offering, QQ’s MAUs is now at 877 million as of Q1 2016, while Mobile QQ – its mobile version – hit 658 million MAUs in the same period of time.3
#3 Sina Weibo
Sina Weibo is China’s answer to Twitter but with way more functionality. Ideal for brands hoping to drum up direct communication to connect with Chinese consumers, Weibo is a powerful channel for impactful interaction and information dissemination via discourses, debates, and feedback.4 Currently, Weibo has 261 million MAUs as of Q1 2016.5
Need help embarking on your China social media campaign? Check out our Juwai Mobile App that offers WeChat integration for your listings, as well as access and exposure to Chinese buyers on-the-go.
Sources: 1. China Internet Network Center (CNNIC), June 2016; 2. Hurun Report “The Chinese Luxury Traveller 2014” 3. China Internet Watch: Monthly active users of WeChat reached 762m in Q1 2016; 4. Linkfluence: Made in China: The World’s Largest Social Media Landscape; 5.China Internet Watch: 85% Weibo monthly active users from mobile in Q1 2016
To better understand the travel plans of Chinese buyers over Chinese New Year and throughout 2017, as it relates to their overseas property purchasing intentions, we conducted a survey with 120 Chinese respondents from 27 Chinese provinces and 12 overseas countries.
Of the 92% of Chinese respondents who plan to travel overseas in 2017, while tourism (86%) remains their top priority during their travels abroad, property hunting comes in as their second priority at 42%, compared to shopping (18%) and visiting family/friends (17%).
Survey findings also revealed that 57% plan to purchase property in the countries they are travelling to overseas, while 58% are considering to migrate to the country that they are travelling.
We also asked 1,209 international real estate experts and professional from 64 countries to find out more about their expectations about Chinese property buyers during this Lunar New Year Golden Week, and for 2017 in general.
Interestingly, although less than 30% of international agents expect Chinese buyers to approach them during the Chinese New Year holiday period, over 41% of Chinese respondents who intend to purchase property in the countries that they’re travelling to in 2017 have plans to meet with real estate agents over their Chinese New Year travel.
Already, 17% of international respondents say they have been in touch with Chinese real estate buyers who plan to travel during Chinese New Year. As for those yet to be contacted by Chinese property investors, 34% are optimistic and expect to have Chinese buyers approach them within this holiday period.
43% of international agents also personally find the Lunar New Year to be generally a busier time for them when it comes to servicing Chinese real estate buyers, while 56% believe the 2017 Chinese New Year holiday will be a busier period for them compared to same period the year before in 2016.
Beyond Chinese New Year, 54% of international agents expect to see more Chinese buyers during the rest of 2017.